Online Dating Summit announces Miami venue

From January 18th-21st 2013 The Online Dating Summit (ODS) will host its first U.S. Edition of the event in the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa.

During the inaugural conference (held in Barcelona this past March), ODS drew over 450 top flight dating professionals (from over 30 countries).

Due to popular demand by our delegates and sponsors from both sides of the Atlantic we have opted for Miami as the venue for the US Edition of ODS. It’s warmer, sunnier and its location makes it readily accessible to both our North American and European sponsors/delegates alike.

The expectations are high for the Miami Summit. Thanks to the positive feedback we have received from both our sponsors and delegates (and with their renewed support) we expect an attendance of 800-1.000 professionals from 40 countries during the January 2013 event.

What can you expect? A powerhouse of market share, knowledge and vision will converge in sunny Florida for the Miami Summit. The high C-level of the attendees will spark thought provoking panel sessions, top-flight networking events and a great learning experience for all delegates. Specialist country panels will put you in touch with the worlds´ largest markets.

Miami in January will be the focal point for dating industry leaders from the U.S., Canada, Germany, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Russia. You can also expect expert participation from Brazil, India and China.

Simply said be ready for the largest and most international conference for online dating professionals.

The multitude and sheer variety of the participants will offer everyone the opportunity to forge new (international) business relationships as well as igniting many cross-border (new) business initiatives.

For more information please see http://www.onlinedatingsummit.com/en.
If you have any questions or comments you can contact
walter (at) onlinedatingsummit.com.

California Avenue Project – Palo Alto city council member Pat Burt is “Flabbergasted”

Vote no on Pat Burt!!

This morning’s Daily Post front page headline reads; “Burt decries ‘succession of falsehoods’.

In reality, the true message that city council member Pat Burt was really conveying to opponents of the California Avenue project was that they are all nothing but a bunch of trouble making citizens bent on spreading “falsehoods “or fabricating their business concerns.

That’s the underlining sense we got behind the true message Pat Burt delivered to the Cal. Ave. merchants this past Monday.

As a political leader, he should spend more time dispelling merchant’s fears concerning this project rather than bullying merchants into submission on a project the merchants feel will hurt there businesses.  Is he listening?  We don’t think so.

What most our local politicians fail to remember is that they were elected to serve the people of the city of Palo Alto rather than spewing self gratifying statements of doubt.  Council member Pat Burt needs to be reminded and for that matter ALL of our elected officials that the citizens of Palo Alto are the one’s who are ultimately in charge. (see feature article photo)

You report to us!!

The only gratifying conclusion one can draw from the Daily Post’s article is that Pat Burt is up for re-election and We The People can vote him out…

CPRA Request Regarding Palo Alto’s Proposed Vehicle Habitation Ordinance

Molly Stump, Palo Alto City Attorney:

Public Records Request-Government Code 6250-6270-Vehicle Habitation Ordinance:

Given the lack of transparency and cooperation by City Staff in regards to the Vehicle Habitation Working Group I fear that City Staff will recommend that the Vehicle Habitation Ordinance be submitted to City Council for a vote this coming September 2012 in opposition to the will of the people asserted over the last year.

As read, the Human Habitation of Vehicles Ordinance proposed last July 2011 is not very clear in definition nor is it well defined in its scope.  The ordinance leaves much to the imagination and subjective interpretation due to its vagueness.  As such it would be greatly appreciated if you would clarify the proposed ordinance and the legal rights that homeless people will retain or lose if the City of Palo Alto enacts the proposed ordinance or one similar to it.

The purpose of this Public Records Request is to clarify exactly how the proposed ordinance will be enforced, therefore please answer the questions individually just as they are itemized below as that will be the best procedure for clarifying the issue, thank you.

1)    Is it legal to be homeless in Palo Alto, Yes or No?

2)    Is it illegal to be homeless in Palo Alto, Yes or No?

3)    Is it illegal for any person to sleep in Palo Alto on public property, Yes or No?

4)    Is it illegal for homeless persons to sleep in Palo Alto on public property, Yes or No?

5)    Please identify with specificity every public location inPalo Altoin which a homeless person may sleep without violating a current ordinance and or zoning policy.

6)    If there are zero legal locations in Palo Alto in which homeless persons can sleep, can you explain how they are supposed to exist and function without sleeping?

7)    Should Palo Alto enact the ordinance, will it be illegal for Homeless people to own a vehicles in Palo Alto, Yes or No?

8)    Should Palo Alto enact the ordinance, will it be illegal for Homeless people to park their vehicles on public streets in Palo Alto, Yes or No?

9)    Should Palo Alto enact the ordinance, will it continue to be legal for people who have residents to place food, fast food, groceries etc.. in their vehicles while parked on a public street in Palo Alto, Yes or No?

10)  Should Palo Alto enact the ordinance, will it continue to be legal for homeless people to place food, fast food, groceries etc.. in their vehicles while parked on a public street in Palo Alto, Yes or No?

11)   Will the ordinance allow residents to store a sleeping bag, camping gear and clothes in their vehicles, Yes or No?

12)   Will the ordinance allow homeless people to store a sleeping bag, camping gear and clothes, Yes or No?

13)    Will the ordinance prohibit residents from storing a sleeping bag, camping gear and clothes in their vehicles even though they are not sleeping in their vehicles, Yes or No?

14)    Will the ordinance prohibit homeless persons from storing a sleeping bag, camping gear and clothes in their vehicles even though they are not sleeping in their vehicles, Yes or No?

15)    Will the ordinance allow residents to sit in their cars on a public street at 1:00 am in the morning, Yes or No?

16)    Will the ordinance allow residents to sit in their cars on a public street at 3:00 am in the morning, Yes or No?

17)    Will the ordinance allow residents to sit in their cars on a public street at 5:00 am in the morning, Yes or No?

18)    Will the ordinance allow homeless people to sit in their cars on a public street at 1:00 am in the morning, Yes or No?

19)    Will the ordinance allow homeless people to sit in their cars on a public street at 3:00 am in the morning, Yes or No?

20)    Will the ordinance allow homeless people to sit in their cars on a public street at 5:00 am in the morning, Yes or No?

21)    If a person owns a home but is allergic to the building materials in his/her home preventing the homeowner from sleeping in their home, will the homeowner be allowed to sleep in his/her car on the street in front of his/her house, Yes or No?

22)    Will the ordinance allow residents to sleep in their vehicles on the street between 2:00pm and 4:00pm every day, Yes or No?

23)    Will the ordinance allow residents to sleep in their vehicles on the street between 2:00 AM and 4:00 AM every day, Yes or No?

24)    Will the ordinance allow homeless people to sleep in their vehicles on the street between 2:00pm and 4:00pm every day, Yes or No?

25)    Will the ordinance allow homeless people to sleep in their vehicles on the street between 2:00 AM and 4:00 AM every day, Yes or No?

26)    Should the City enact the ordinance, will residents be allowed to eat food, such as “Jack-in-the-box,” or “McDonalds,” or “Taco Bell” in their vehicles while parked on the street, Yes or No?

27)    Should the City enact the ordinance, will homeless people be allowed to eat food, such as “Jack-in-the-box,” or “McDonalds,” or “Taco Bell” in their vehicles while parked on the street, Yes or No?

28)    If the ordinance permits homeless people to owning vehicles and parking vehicles on the public street like all other residents, will homeless people be able to use their vehicles 24 hours a day 7 days a week like all other residents, Yes or No?

29)   How will officers determine if a person is using his/her vehicle as a dwelling place?

30)  Will officers only cite persons if they are caught sleeping or will other factors be involved?

31)   Will officers be able to cite/arrest homeless persons for occupying a vehicle even though there is no other evidence that the homeless person is living out of the vehicle?

32)  What level of evidence will be required to determine if a homeless person is habitating a vehicle in violation of the ordinance,  (a sleeping bag?);  (a duffle bag of gym clothes and shoes?);  (fast food or groceries?); (sleeping?)?

33) Will officers be able to cite/arrest homeless persons for violating the ordinance for simply owning a vehicle, Yes or No?

34)  How will officers determine if a person is using his/her vehicle as a dwelling place?

35)  If it hasn’t already been covered above, please explain in detail everything that residents will be able to do with their vehicles in Palo Alto should the City enact the ordinance.

36)  If it hasn’t already been covered above, please explain in detail everything that residents will be prohibited from doing with their vehicles in Palo Alto should the City enact the ordinance.

37)  If it hasn’t already been covered above, please explain in detail everything that homeless people will be able to do with their vehicles in Palo Alto should the City enact the ordinance.

38)  If it hasn’t already been covered above, please explain in detail everything that homeless people will be able to do with their vehicles in Palo Alto should the City enact the ordinance.

39)  What is the Nature and Origin of the Complaints that resulted in the Human Habitation of Vehicles Ordinance being angendized for a City Council vote last July 2011?

40)  Who from the City of Palo Alto made the decision to propose the Human Habitation of Vehicles Ordinance and the reason why?

41)  Who drafted the Human Habitation of Vehicles Ordinance?

42)  Who decided that the penalty should be a misdemeanor instead of an infraction and what was/is the reasoning behind this penalty?

July 2011  City of Palo Alto Proposed/Pending Human Habitation of Vehicles City Ordnance:

(a) It is unlawful for any person to use, occupy or permit the use or occupancy of any vehicle for human habitation on or in any street, park, alley, public parking lot or other public way.

For purposes of this section, “human habitation” means the use of a vehicle for a dwelling place and does not include temporary use of a vehicle for alleviation of sickness or physical inability to operate the vehicle.

(b) The following uses are exempt from the provisions of this section:

(1) Any mobile living unit used for human habitation allowed by another provision of this code or required procedure of the city;

(2) Guests of city residents for up to forty-eight consecutive hours when parked adjacent to the resident’s dwelling.

Homeless are roused out of Cubberley

Account of Police action against the homeless community that has been staying around Cubberley Community Center in Palo Alto.

Last night at around 10:20 p.m. a couple of Palo Alto police showed up at the Cubberley Community Center with orders for all the homeless to leave by Monday night or face “citations” if they are still hanging around.

This is a reaction by the new administrator at Cubberley who wants to punish the innocent for the actions of a few. Yes, there are some “bad apples” in the homeless community who do unsociable things, but those who don’t do these un-sociable thing now have to suffer for the actions of the few. I do not see that this country is anything I would call “free”  Think about it!

The Power of Touch: Oncology Massage

Cancer patients receiving medical treatments, experience the myriad of side effects that overwhelmingly assault their health. Physically, the body can receive toxic chemicals, the burn of radiation, and the effects of inactivity for long periods of time.

Their mental health can be compromised by the anxiety of a severe illness, affecting mood and a sense of well-being. Recently, research studies provided evidence that massage therapy is an essential part of supportive care for cancer patients.

Oncology massage is a relatively new approach in treating the physical and mental health of patients in cancer treatments. Massage can counteract and provide a beneficial response to many of the harmful side effects from chemotherapies, radiation, and other medical interventions.

Massage Relives Pain

Cancer patients experiencing pain from illness, inactivity, and certain medical treatments can benefit from the increased circulation and elimination of destructive toxins in the body. Removing harmful chemicals and improving oxygen flow can decrease inflammation and lessen pain. Gentle manipulation of tissues relaxes muscle spasms, and relieves tension.

Muscle weakness and fatigue are an expected problem for patients that are inactive due to illness or treatment. Massage therapy pushes venous blood back to the heart and reduces fatigue by increasing blood supply and nutrition to the musculature. Muscle atrophy, or wasting, is delayed by improving tone and the stimulation of muscle fibers from massaging of the tissues.

Respiratory Impairment

Patients experiencing cancers that affect the respiratory system, such as mesothelioma, have a decreased ability to breath and expel air. Toxins that are not eliminated through the lungs accumulate and become harmful, and chest muscles become painful and fatigued. Massage relieves muscle spasms and decreases tension around the ribcage. Massage also increases the excretion of toxins via the kidneys, and encourages the retention of minerals and electrolytes necessary for tissue repair.

Anemia and Immune System

Chemotherapies, radiation, blood loss, and other treatments may medically induce anemia. Many cancer patients’ immune systems are impacted by disease, medical treatment, and inactivity. Massage can open venous vessels and increases oxygen to the blood cells and improves the health of the immune system. More oxygen to the body promotes better function of all body systems.

Consult your doctor today and find a massage therapy that will be beneficial to you and your treatment and give your mind, body and spirit a vacation from some of life’s everyday stressors!

Broker Blames the Rules of the Game for His Demise

Russell Wasendorf Sr. lashed out at “mean-spirited” regulators for driving him to commit a multimillion-dollar, 20-year fraud at his Iowa-based brokerage, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, citing previously unreleased portions of a signed confession.

Wasendorf, the 64-year-old founder of Peregrine Financial Group, said in the confession that he had spent most of the money – more than $100 million by his own estimates – on shoring up his firm’s capital, funding a new headquarters in Iowa and paying fines and fees, according to the Journal.

“Most of the misappropriated funds went to maintain the increasing levels of Regulatory Capital to keep in business and to pay business,” Wasendorf wrote in the signed statement.

The Journal did not say how it obtained the statement, portions of which had been released with a criminal complaint after Wasendorf’s arrest on Friday.

In the note, Wasendorf said that his scheme began around 1993, when a CFTC investigator in Kansas City sought to fine his firm for a violation involving customer funds, according to the Journal. The CFTC “harassed” him by conducting six on-site audits over five months, he wrote. He said a “technical violation” then raised his capital requirements.

“I have to say I don’t feel bad about deceiving the regulators,” the note said. “They made the decision to be my enemy.”

The disclosures offer new details about how Wasendorf used his clients funds, and what drove him to commit the fraud. Regulators estimate missing customer cash at more than $200 million.

City attorney’s new website remains virtually the same

The only visible different if anything from the previous design would be the color scheme from the industrial complex brown to the anaerobic digestion green.  Disappointing however was the much touted promises by city attorney Molly Stump who during her inaugural speech she assured the citizens of Palo Alto of a new webpage design among other promises as reported back in March of last year by Paloaltoonline.com under the heading:

“New Palo Alto city attorney pledges ‘transparency’ Molly Stump plans to improve her office’s website, make more legal documents available to the public”.

She also pledged for greater open government and transparency. To my knowledge Ms. Stump has said nothing openly about open government or transparency since taking office. If she has, it’s been behind closed doors.

More broken promises…….”There’s a lot of information about the city’s legal programs that can be made available to the public and it’s important to me that it be done quickly and expeditiously so that people can participate,” Stump said.”  We’ve participate and no one is listening. Not even city council……In my opinion there all a bunch of damn cowards!

Try filing a California Public Records Request also known as CPRA. Quite often it’s lost in the virtual email cloud with city assistant attorney Donald Larkin coughing up the lame excuse, ‘it may have been sent to the wrong email address’. That’s his legal defense anyway…….

The truth of the matter is there’s no clear road map in this regard which demonstrates anything being done expeditiously on the people’s right to know our city governments business. In fact, it’s embedded in our Constitution.

“The people have the right of access to information concerning the conduct of the people’s business, and therefore, the meetings of public bodies and the writings of public officials and agencies shall be open to public scrutiny.”  Again our city attorney has continued to remain silent on this all important issue.  She’s not alone,  so have all of our elected city officials.

Time and time again we have suggested repeatedly to the city attorney’s office to make it easier for citizens to file a California Public Records Request by creating an email address; public-records-request@cityofpaloalto.org to simplify this process for the purposes of tracking and follow-up .

Unfortunately thus far, we have seen nothing new or creative coming out the city attorney’s office which suggests, “I want both attorneys and staff to be inspired to bring their best effort to work every day,” Stump said.” The only thing transparent is the legacy left behind by the former city attorney Gary Baum.

Prometheus Film Review 2012 Ridley Scott

If you see the film from the very beginning, you may catch the first scene summarizing the myth of Prometheus. Here’s a short version of the Greek myth.

In the war between Men and Gods, Mortals and Immortals, the Gods usually win but not without some cost and even fights among the Gods. Promethus is one such duplicitous God who challenges Zeus’ authority by stealing fire for mankind.

Outraged, Zeus chains Prometheus to a mountain top where his liver is devoured by an Eagle everyday, only to grow back each night. To make sure we all hurt, Zeus also sends the first woman to mankind, Pandora, who brings with her a box full of evils, ‘pain, suffering, death and hope.’ Before she can close the box, all of the evils escape, except for hope.

If only the movie were that good. Some say the myth seeks to explain mankind’s scientific and intellectual ascent and their dark and heavy costs.

And though the movie begins with something like a Pandora’s box, unless you know the myth, that whole scene will sail over your head like the UFO you see.

In this film, the ‘fire stolen from the Gods’ is a bizarre ‘Alien Monster DNA’ that perpetuates itself by male oral rape, something right up Hollywood’s alley, obsession with oral sex.

So here we have an alien, that rapes you orally, thus creating a pyscho sexual trauma that results in a hideous ‘pregnancy’ (or psychological trauma) and birth of another ‘gay alien rapist.’

That’s sick. I agree. But hey, I didn’t make this flick. There’s a critical moment that sums this all up. I’m talking about a climactic scene in which a Mr. Universe God struggles with all his might to fight off an ‘alien oral rapist,’ but loses big time. Thus raped, Mr. Universe God gives birth to another big dripping ‘deviant alien.’

So if you think about it, the whole life cycle of an ‘Alien’ is a metaphor for the cycle of sex abuse. Innocent victims are destroyed by the ‘alien’ just as the victims of sex abuse are destroyed. The result of the deviant sex is not a beautiful bouncing baby but a traumatized individual or monstrous ‘alien’ that continues the deviant cycle of behavior trying to gain control, mastery or understanding of the traumatic event that started it all, but perpetuates the abomination instead.

This movie could have been great if it plumbed the depths of just one of the themes it touches on, like -The quest for eternal youth. Or the cost of Human beings’ wanderlust and curiosity. It’s said that, ‘to create one must first destroy,’ but who or what decides that balance?

And In the end, faith in God can not be explained, so how and why does it keep us going? All of the above are good topics that were touched on but hard to write about, so instead the writers take the low road and chase us around a spaceship with a deviant monster. Not very enlightening but fun.

Palo Alto Deals With Vehicle Dwellers

Jason Henry for The Wall Street Journal
Buck, an out-of-work carpenter, is living in his van.

PALO ALTO—Kurt Varner moved to Palo Alto from Los Angeles in March to start an Internet company. But instead of renting an apartment, the 25-year-old has been residing in a different kind of abode: his car.

Every 72 hours, Mr. Varner moves his car around Palo Alto to avoid violating the city’s parking rules, and he tries to be as inconspicuous as possible to local residents and other car-dwellers.

Mr. Varner sometimes does some rudimentary cooking at a co-working space in Mountain View, where he codes during the day. And he showers at a local 24 Hour Fitness gym. His total cost for the gym and co-working space is $139 a month.

Living in his car is the only way he can afford to be in Silicon Valley right now, says Mr. Varner, whose wife, a teacher, lives in Los Angeles. Mr. Varner, who has been effectively homeless for the past few months, says he can’t afford to pay rent on two places but will move into an apartment in the area this month when his wife moves up.

He says he is excited about working on something he is passionate about, but being homeless is “a little scary.”

While Mr. Varner isn’t the typical sort of person found living in his car, he is among a group of homeless people who are doing just that in Palo Alto, which is one of the few cities in the Silicon Valley where it is legal to live in a vehicle. The town now has as many as 100 vehicles housing people, says Curtis Williams, Palo Alto’s director of planning and community environment. Whether that number is growing is unclear, he adds, but complaints about the homeless rose last year.

The persistent presence of these vehicle-dwellers has divided Palo Alto residents, sparking community meetings and pitting neighbors who advocate for homeless rights against those who complain about noise and public urination and worry about strangers camping on their streets.

Mr. Varner says he normally parks close to his gym, which is open 24 hours, in case he has to use the bathroom at night.

“I don’t think it should be open season for motor homes to park here,” says Joy Ogawa, who lives in the College Terrace neighborhood. “Palo Alto needs some protection.”

The issue shows the underside of Silicon Valley’s latest tech boom. In an area that is home to Stanford University and numerous technology companies, from start-ups to Hewlett-Packard Co., the gulf between the well-off and the not-so-well-off is stark.

While freshly graduated engineers can command six-figure salaries, others are dealing with long-term unemployment and struggling to keep up with rising rents and home prices. In May, the median value of a house in Palo Alto was more than $1.34 million, up 11.5% from $1.2 million a year earlier, Zillow says. Rents in June were up as much as 30% from the previous year and are at an all-time high, according to a monthly report compiled from landlord advertisements by Palo Alto Realtor Leon Leong.

At a community forum in Palo Alto City Hall last month, vehicle-dwellers discussed their struggles with long-term unemployment or health issues. Some are working but aren’t able to afford the area’s rents. They say the city shouldn’t punish people who are just trying to survive.

“Palo Alto is safe—that’s why we come here,” says one man, Tony, who asked that his last name not be published. He says he is a gardener who has lived in Palo Alto for 19 years—12 of them in houses or apartments—and has landscaping clients in Palo Alto that tie him to the city.

Palo Alto officials have struggled to find an effective way of dealing with its homeless problem. Last year, after complaints from several Palo Alto neighborhoods, the city attorney’s office prepared an ordinance that would have made it a misdemeanor to live in a vehicle, levying progressively larger fines. But homeless advocates protested and the city backed off.

Since then, a working group of community members has been trying to devise a solution, and is scheduled to give its recommendation to the city on Sept. 11.

“Palo Alto is one of the wealthiest cities on the planet, and we’re not carrying our fair share of the burden,” says Aram James, a retired public defender who has lived in Palo Alto since the 1950s and is a member of the working group. “We have to have places for homeless people who aren’t out on parole who don’t have a place to live.”

Mr. Williams, the planning director, says the city hasn’t offered its property for use by homeless living in vehicles because its budget is too tight to administer such a program. Lately, homeless people have clustered around Cubberley Community Center, in South Palo Alto, where they have access to bathrooms, but area residents have complained, he says.

One church has offered to help and other congregations are considering it, he says. Meanwhile, Palo Alto’s one homeless shelter is full. “It’s never enough,” Mr. Williams says.

Mr. Varner, for his part, says he avoids contact with other vehicle-dwellers. “I want to try and lay low and stay out of their way,” he says. “I know why I’m doing this and it was my choice to live like this.” He says he expects to launch his new company—Kickmade, an online marketplace for people to sell projects funded through the crowdfunding website Kickstarter—this fall.

Being homeless has been stressful, Mr. Varner says, recalling the time a police officer shined a spotlight on him while he was trying to sleep. In the past few months he has learned to live “minimalistically,” he says, and to appreciate the most basic things. By Deborah Gage

Florence Stuart passed away peacefully June 4, 2012

Florence Stuart passed away peacefully June 4, having been diagnosed with esophageal cancer.  A Menlo Park resident for 55 years, she was well loved by family and friends.

The youngest of four and only daughter of Swedish parents, she grew up in  Michigan’s Detroit area through the depression years. The multicultural neighborhood in which she lived gave her a remarkable ear for understanding many linguistic accent variations and many cultures.

She graduated from the University of Michigan with a BA in business, and was the first of her family to attend college, working her way through.  This provided her a deep appreciation for quality education.

It was there that she met her husband, Robert Stuart. The newlyweds moved to Chicago where she became an elementary school teacher while Robert attended Loyola University Dental School. In 1957 they moved to Menlo Park where he started a dental practice while she managed their home and family.

A social pioneer in many ways:  Florence gave assistance to immigrants who worked at Webb Ranch in the 1960’s; she became an expert on the San Francisco Bay ecosystem by researching and writing a definitive work for the League of Women Voters. In the 1970’s divorce prompted a redirection from housewife to Real Estate Agent. In the 1980’s she became a breast cancer survivor and at all times was an advocate of independent thinking, common sense, and good humor.

She had the good fortune to travel with friends and family: Thailand, England, Australia, Tasmania, London, Paris and surrounding areas, Germany, Amsterdam/Holland, Hawaii, and Panama.

Florence is survived by her four children, four grand-children, and three great-grandchildren.

A memorial is scheduled July 28, 2 pm at Ladera Community Church, 3300
Alpine Rd, Portola Valley.